America, here I come!

By Drum Digital
08 September 2010

BY THE time you read this she’ll be on the other side of the world – in Los Angeles, to be exact, the home of Hollywood...and there couldn’t be a more fitting city for a woman with stars in her eyes and ambition bursting from every pore.

Not that Terry Phetois planning to leave Mzansi for good, though – she’s very much a South African and is involved with several projects here. The 29-year-old actress, who shot to fame in the Oscar-winning hit Tsotsi, has just signed another year-long contract to be the face of beauty house L’Oreal and is fresh from the set of Hopeville, the movie version of the popular TV show.We manage to catch up with Terry between engagements shortly before she jets off to America, where she’ll be studying film production on a scholarship at the LA campus of the renowned New York Film Academy. The gorgeous star is happy to play the ’50s diva for us today, swirling and twirling in pretty dresses and flouncy skirts. “I’ve always loved Marilyn Monroe, so this is just great,” she says.

She’s so friendly and full of smiles it’s hard to believe the actress has been called aloof, serious and even a snob. In between costume changes we ask her about her attitude and do our best to get to know the real Terry...

On being viewed as unapproachable

“I don’t know why people think I’m a snob – I’m just reserved and private. I’m respectful of other people’s personal space and I expect the same to be applied to me.

“Making friends is difficult in this industry, especially in Joburg, because you don’t know who’s being genuine. But when I make friends, they’re for real. I’m close to fellow actresses Mampho Brescia [of Jacob’s Cross fame] and [Rhythm City’s] Relebogile Mabotja. I still have my old friends from my home in the Vaal and the friends I made while doing community theatre in Soweto.”

On her scholarshipo to the USA

“I’ve wanted to get into production and directing for some time and came across this school in California. I told friends I wanted to apply for a scholarship and they were like, just e-mail and say you’re an actress who wants to study there. I did and I was accepted, which is fantastic!

“It’s a one-year course but I’m going to break it up into a threemonth stint now and return again sometime next year. I have a full life here and lots of responsibilities to fulfil.

“I’m so looking forward to going to the academy! I want to equip myself with as many tools as possible to succeed in this industry. You can never know too much.”

Read the full article in DRUM of 16 September 2010

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